The School Newspaper of The Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

The unknown talent of our teachers

Aidan Ryan, Sports Editor

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The Urban School’s faculty is filled with athletic talent. There are several previous Division 1 athletes, who dedicated their college years to constant sport for their university. Below are a few of the D1 teacher athletes at Urban: a baseball player from UC Davis, a basketball player from Boise State, and a laxer from Harvard University.

 

Richard:

  This math teacher, who can be found gazing intently at the sky, pointing out star formations and planets, was a baseball stud. Recruited from his high school in junior year in a package deal with his teammate and friend, Richard Lautze led the University of California, Davis, to some big wins during his 4 years as student athlete there.

  “It was fun to be on a winning team,” said Lautze, who won a championship his sophomore year. Richard, the center fielder, who was the lead-off hitter in the lineup, recalls one moment in his four years on the team that changed him.

  “For the first time in my career, I saw a pitcher that scared me. He laughed at me. He knew he had me,” said Lautze. Fortunately for Lautze, he grounded out, which he laughingly said helped him “save face.” “It was eye-opening. The first time that I felt overmatched,” He said. Baseball subsequently made way for teaching, although he’s always had a sneaking suspicion that he got the job at the Urban School because of his athletic record.

  “I had actually tried out for the Los Angeles Angels, [an MLB team], and I had that on my resume, and I noticed the people interviewing me noticing that. It was a significant part of my resume.”

 

Joe:

  13 years ago, Joe Skiffer spent his time crossing up fellow collegiate ballers. Now, he is the Director of Athletics at Urban and the boys Varsity basketball coach. Back in college, Skiffer was a point guard at Boise State University.

  “I rode the bench during the first games of freshman year,” said Skiffer, describing it as “an eye opening experience.” He went on to be captain of the team the next 3 years, with the team going 23-10 his senior year.

  “We had some big games, sellouts. 11,500 people went to games. Selling out gym for the last 6 games of senior year … that’s something I’ll never forget. It’s loud, it’s rowdy,” he said.

  “One thing I did recognize is that it is a business. I remember my second coach, he pulled us aside and said, ‘keep in mind. This is how I feed my children. So if we don’t have success, I don’t have a job. And then I can’t pay my mortgage.’ Nothing is taken for granted,” he concluded.

 

Charlotte:

  Charlotte Worsley, Assistant Head of Student Life at Urban, oversees student life outside the classroom, student discipline, advising, grade-level programs, and safety protocols. However, some students may be unaware that not long ago, Worsley intimidated opposing attackers as goalie for the Harvard Women’s varsity lacrosse team.

  “I played defense in high school. I showed up for winter tryouts freshman year, and overheard the coach saying that the goalie was going to take the spring term off. I liked the sweats that the varsity had. I knew that I wasn’t going to make the varsity any other way, so I volunteered to play the goalie. With no previous goalie experience,” said Worsley. Her junior year, Worsley lead her #2 ranked team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament semifinals, narrowly missing the championship.

  “[Losing in the semifinals] was a real let down.” The following year posed another challenge. “I was writing my thesis [senior year] and it was really hard for me to balance my thesis and a varsity sport. So I don’t think I was as good a player my senior year, because I was too distracted.”

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The unknown talent of our teachers